I took one for the team and watched all 3 Champions League games involving La Liga teams:
Auxerre 0 Real
Real were all over Auxerre in the first half but slowly the French team, who finished third last year, came into match and had a few chances in between shots of varying quality from Real.
Lass and Marcelo were the biggest attacking threats for Real for the first sixty minutes. Marcelo up the left wing and Lass everywhere. CR7 disappeared for long stretches. Xabi Alonso had a fantastic game pulling the strings. The game screamed for Ozil and he came on early in the 2nd half. Didn’t make the impact that I thought he would, instead it was the other sub Di Maria who came in and converted a half chance to secure the 3 points.
Defensively Real look solid and were really only opened up once but Iker was there to save the day. Speical mention for Pepe, who had a great game. Auxerre should definitely be able to push
Real are all but in the knockout phase where the expectations will be ratcheted up big time.
Rubin Kazan 1
Rubin stunned the defending European champs last season and put them on the brink of elimination at one point. Well guess what? Déjà vu all over again. After Pedro hit the cross bar early, Rubin converted a PK after half an hour and then parked the Russian bus. FCB struggled to develop plan B (shocker) and looked like short of ideas. Messi came on at the hour mark, Iniesta won a PK, and Villa converted. The last thirty minutes were better, with, wait for it, Obafemi Martins coming and creating all sorts of havoc, even having a chance to win the match outright.
Pep made a couple of changes in the squad, with Masch playing the Busquets role. He looked better but was eventually subbed out to make way for Messi. His transition has been slow and I’m hoping he pays off in the second half of the season.
The Red Devils came to
For the Europa League, work got in the way and I was only able to watch highlights and read match reports.
Atletico came back from a goal down to draw with Bayer Leverkusen. Reyes had a chance to win it but missed the diving header. The holders in this competition only have 1 point after two matches and have it all to do.
Note for FIFA and fantasy players: buy Atletico GK De Gea NOW!!
Villareal 2 Club Brugge 1
Jozy got the start and played 85 minutes for Villareal. Looks like the Yellow Submarine controlled most of the match and the twitterverse was abuzz as Jozy missed a couple of chances.
Villareal have 3 points and are 1 point behind PAOK Salonika, who they play next round.
Young Boys 2
Young Boys (insert joke here) defeated
Sevilla travelled to
Sevilla are back in the group, only 3 points behind PSG. If they take maximum points against last placed Karpaty Lviv, they will have a real chance at progressing.